ALOHA!

 

Kua Bay is good for swimming!

The beach at Kua Bay has sand that looks amazing!

The Kua Bay beach is also called Maniniowali Beach.

 

Kua Bay. Maniniowali Beach. Best beaches on the Big Island. Best things to do in Kona near Kona airport. Kekaha Kai State Park. White sand beach. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

Kua Bay is a part of a Hawaii state park, the Kekaha Kai State Park.

A visit to Kua Bay on the Kona coast of the Big Island means…

 

White sand beach…

 

Kua Bay. Best beaches in Big Island. Best white sand beaches in Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

Amazing ocean color…

 

Kua Bay. Best beaches in Big Island. Best ocean views in Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

And lava rocks from a volcano!

 

 

 

 

 

With the Big Island being the Hawaiian island that’s best known for volcanoes

And with Hawaii being known for its beaches…

Can there be a better “very Big Island” and “very Hawaii” type beach than the beach at Kua Bay?!

Okay so actually, there are 2 more beaches within a couple of miles at the same state park (Kekaha Kai State Park)… which are also very amazing and can give you that “very Big Island” beach and “very Hawaii” beach type feel.

But for now, we’ll focus on the beach at Kua Bay because in many ways it can be the most convenient and the easiest to access between these beaches that are in the same area. (But a bit more about the other 2 beaches below in case you want more activity in your day – aka hiking!)

And in general, it’s always good to check for official alerts before you go (this can include beach warnings), and here’s the official state park website.

 

 

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Side note!

Top Big Island experiences
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Things you might want to pack for your Big Island vacation
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  • For women: Search for a rash guard for swimming and you won't have to worry as much about putting on sunscreen!
  • Water shoes for snorkeling if you won't be wearing fins, or just generally for the beach!
  • Cheapo waterproof phone case so you can capture pictures of colorful fishies swimming underwater!
    • I always have a camera float attached to my phone case that I put around my wrist
  • Snorkeling set: mask and fins
    • Fins allow you to propel further faster (aka see more in less time and energy!)
    • Go cheap if you accept that you need to come up for air frequently: regular swimming googles. They are not as fashionable but if you get swimming goggles, make them the clear kind so you won't be seeing dimmed colors of the colorful fishies!
    • If you are able, I recommend trying out the mask at your local lake (in summer) or pool so you will be good to go in Hawaii when there's actually stuff to see!
  • For women: Merrell hiking shoes (one of the best outdoor shoe brands, perfect for walking over rugged terrain like lava fields!)
  • For men: Merrell hiking shoes
  • Travel-friendly turkish towel for the beach (lightweight compared to regular beach towels)
  • For women: Teva walking sandals (one of the best sandal brands for the outdoors, perfect for lots of walking around outside - that's not a lava field!)
  • For men: Teva sandals
  • Moisture-wicking tech t-shirt for women perfect for hiking and hot days when you'll be outside a lot sweating
  • tech-t-shirt for men
  • For more ideas, do a search for hiking clothes or swimming clothes!

*As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission.


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And now…

 

7 reasons to go to Kua Bay

I made a visit to the Kua Bay beach (aka Maniniowali Beach) in August 2019.

 

 

1. It’s a white sand beach on the Big Island!

…and among the best white sand beaches on the Big Island?!

Kua Bay. White sand beaches in Big Island. Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog



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2. The drive to the beach comes with ocean views

Kua Bay. Best beaches in Big Island. Best scenic drives in Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

Once you turn off the highway and onto the road that leads directly to the state park, you’ll be treated to amazing coastal views for a great scenic drive on the Big Island!

 

 

3. It’s a part of a Hawaii state park

Kua Bay white sand beach in Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach entrance Kua Bay. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

4. There are beach facilities

Kua Bay white sand beach in Big Island Hawaii. Beach facilities - there are bathrooms and outdoor showers at Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

There are bathrooms right near the parking lot, and then there are outdoor showers to rinse off sand and salt water after your day at the beach.

 

 

5. There’s a lifeguard

Kua Bay white sand beach in Big Island Hawaii. Beach facilities - there is a lifeguard at Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

There’s a lifeguard at this Hawaii state park beach (this is a relatively recent addition), but still be sure to take care when you’re in the water!

That goes for any beach you go to on the Big Island!

 

 

6. It’s near Kona Airport

Kua Bay. Best beaches near Kona airport, flight to Big Island. Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog



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Kua Bay is right near the airport, maybe a 10-15 minute drive.

This means that you’ll see the occasional airplane in the sky with the flights arriving to the Big Island.

But what makes this a good thing…

If you’re arriving to Kona airport during the day, or if you have a few hours to spare before your flight out of the Kona airport…

You can head to Kua Bay for an amazing FIRST impression of the Big Island, or for an amazing LASTING impression of the Big Island!

Or, if you have a layover at Kona airport of more than a few hours, you can rent a car directly at the airport and then head over to Kua Bay for enjoy your short time on the Big Island!

There are 2 main entrances to Kekaha Kai State Park.

The one to get to Kua Bay directly is the one with the sign for the Maniniowali section. This is the northern side of the state park, so the second main state park entrance when you’re coming from Kona airport.

 

 

7. Kua Bay can be the start of a beach to beach to beach hike on the Big Island

So the 3 great white sand beaches at Kekaha Kai State Park are:

If you’re up for a long day of hiking, you can go beach hopping by foot!

This is how I did this beach to beach hike from Kua Bay to Mahaiula Beach (and back) at Kekaha Kai state park:

This did basically take me the full day, but it was amazing views nearly the whole time!

For a short hike at the state park with amazing views of the Kona coast from higher up, see the Puu Kuili hike which you can start from the Kua Bay parking lot!

 

 

And now…

More photos from Kua Bay!

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog



 


Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay white sand beach - Best beaches in Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay white sand beach - Best beaches in Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay white sand beach - Best beaches in Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay white sand beach - Best beaches in Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay white sand beach - Best beaches in Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach, white sand beach - Best beaches on the Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit of what you might see with a visit to Kua Bay!

 

 

Explore more of Kekaha Kai State Park:

And see more of the best Hawaii state parks on the Big Island, along with some of the best beach hikes on the Big Island!

 

HAPPY SEEING A WHITE SAND BEACH ON THE BIG ISLAND AT KUA BAY!

 

Kua Bay - Best white sand beaches in Big Island Hawaii. Kehaka Kai state park, Maniniowali Beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Where to stay near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
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Here are some ideas for your time on the Big Island!

Among the most popular things to do on the Big Island are Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls State Park, and Waipio Valley!

For Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the main road to drive is Chain of Craters Road and it will take you to see the best lava fields in Hawaii! Before that though (or after!) you will want to make a stop for the Thurston lava tube. You can also hike into a former lava lake by doing the Kilauea Iki Trail!

Other Big Island activities you may want to make time for are the best black sand beaches in Hawaii (including Punaluu black sand beach to see turtles maybe!) and the Papakolea green sand beach of Hawaii.

👇 Explore the Big Island map on google maps! big island map

See the list:

ALOHA!